On most fall Sunday afternoons, Lucas Oil Stadium is full of thousands of screaming Indianapolis Colt Fans. The sound at times is probably deafening. On Nov. 22, even though the stadium was full of thousands of teens, the only sound was the stadium’s HVAC system. Why? Jesus was present.
The second night of the NCYC concluded with Eucharistic adoration.
Upon leaving the stadium, Bishop Nelson Perez remarked how “impressive” the evening was. “Tonight, Christ convokes his children for an impressive and powerful experience with Him.”
Teens from the diocese are attending the biennial National Catholic Youth Conference. The morning session included Scripture study and prayer, while the afternoons found participants choosing from dozens of breakout session on a variety of topics from the Mass to social media.
In his role as the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, Bishop Perez gathered with teens from various dioceses to talk about the importance of diversity.
Bishop Perez sat at a lunch table with teens from the Toledo and Louisville dioceses. They shared with the bishop their challenges in the Church, but also their joys. One teen remarked, regarding his relationship with God, how he has “someone to talk to when he’s feeling down.”
Watch a special video interview Bishop Perez recorded for diocesan social media platforms:
Prior to the evening’s activities, many in the Cleveland delegation attended a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the U.S. Bishop Perez concelebrated and was the homilist.
“We gather with a grateful heart around the table of the Eucharist,” the bishop said. He asked those gathered, as we approach Thanksgiving, to begin thinking about things that they are grateful for.
After Mass, Izzy, a teen from St. Barnabas Parish in Northfield, joined Bishop Perez and Archbishop Pierre along with Monica the host of “NCYC Live” on the conference’s special livestream set.
She shared her impression of her first NCYC. “it’s so incredible watching 20,000 teens just gather together for the same reason … it really captivates the magnitude of our God.” Click HERE to watch their segment.
As an added treat, members of St. Barnabas Parish’s youth ministry went to dinner with Bishop Perez and Archbishop Pierre. After a short walk to Buca di Beppo, conversations turned to the excitement of the conference, their future life plans and they looked forward to possibly attending the next World Youth Day in 2022.
After dinner, the group hustled back to Lucas Oil Stadium to participate in the evening’s general session that included moving music, reflections and Eucharistic adoration.
Hundreds of priests, including many from the Cleveland, were available for teens to encounter Christ through the sacrament of reconciliation.
More coverage of NCYC can be found on the diocesan Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as Bishop Perez’s Twitter and Instagram. Social media followers can also search and the hashtag #NCYC2019 for additional posts.
Click HERE for a large image gallery that will be added to through the trip.